Avoiding a Customer Service Train Wreck

customer service

I recently stumbled onto an article that discussed 15 customer service traits that can enable companies in any industry to wow their customers.  Although the tips are not utility-specific, they are universal.  The article is a great read, and you should definitely check it out.  Below is an abbreviated list of the article’s recommendations.

Essential Customer Service Skills

  1. Maintaining patience, especially when dealing with people who are confused or angry
  2. Being attentive and actually listening to customers instead of just hearing them
  3. Practicing clear and concise communication skills
  4. Having expert knowledge of the company’s products and services
  5. Using language that emphasizes positivity
  6. Being able to feign a positive attitude even when you’re not “feeling it”
  7. Having exceptional time management skills – especially knowing when to cut bait when it’s evident you’re just not going to be able to solve the customer’s problem
  8. Being able to read customers by understanding subtle queues in their voice and personality
  9. Being able to keep cool under pressure – especially for utility reps dealing with frustrated customers during a service outage
  10. Being goal-oriented
  11. Being able to think on your feet, especially when something unexpected happens (i.e., encountering something you’re not trained for, or an unexpected customer reaction to something you say, etc.)
  12. Being able to persuade customers to accept your point of view
  13. Maintaining persistence and being willing to do what it takes to solve the customer’s problem
  14. Having the ability to close – not necessarily from a sales perspective, but more in terms of ending the call in a way that is satisfactory to the customer
  15. Willingness to learn, which hopefully is self-explanatory

So, there you have it – 15 customer service tips to live by.  Even practicing just some of these ideas will surely pay dividends from a customer satisfaction perspective.  Good luck!

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